Opportunity to Reopen

Governor Kim Reynolds announced at her press conference May 20 that museums, zoos and aquariums may re-open on Friday May 22.  Move at your own pace, making sure you have protective measures in place for your staff, volunteers, and visitors.  You can find information on reopening here.

Excerpt from proclamation - check here for more information.   "A museums, aquarium, or zoo may reopen, but only to the extent that the establishment takes reasonable measures under the circumstances of each establishment to ensure social distancing of employees and patrons, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with Guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health."

Governor Reynolds was very clear in reminding us that the coronavirus has not gone away - we just have to find a way to live and work with it.  The safety of your staff, volunteers, and visitors should be of paramount importance.

Ideas from the Field - Colleague Conversations

IMA members are sharing their ideas and insights during Friday morning colleague conversations  via zoom.  If you'd like to join us, the link is


Questions or comments - please e-mail Director@iowamuseums.org


Planning to Reopen


Best Practices for Reopening Your Museum - Iowa Museum Association

Considerations for Museum Reopenings - American Alliance of Museums

High Touch Deep Clean Areas Identified for Museums - Oklahoma Museums Association infographic


Iowa Department of Public Health

CDC Cleaning Guidelines


Dexibit "Leading in Crisis: Survive then Thrive" Visitor Attractions Unite Responding to COVID-19 Whitepaper

Colleen Dilenschneider: Know Your Own Bone COVID-19 Updates
Colleen Dilenschneider: What will Make People Feel Safe Attending a Cultural Entity Again?

Best Practices for Cleaning Play and Learn Spaces

Membership & Development: How to Prepare for When Your Institution Reopens, is now available for on-demand viewing.   In this webinar, hear panelists Dana Hines of Membership Consultants and Bob Ramin of GG+A discuss topics for planning for future reopening of your organization.

IMLS - Safe Reopening resources

OSHA:  https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osha/osha20200309 

CDC guide cleaning/disinfecting for the workplace: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html  

National Endowment for the Arts

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management on Infectious Disease Policy

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, says "Employers are legally liable for both employees and non-employees infected in the workplace.  Additionally, chronic disease carriers such as persons with tuberculosis are protected against employment discrimination by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is imperative to have a policy and actionable plan in place that considers legally protected employees under the ADA, privacy issues of infected employees, recognition of risk, and the reduction of employer liability and continuing operations.

Employers have five basic actions to take when there is a potential communicable disease risk in the workplace:

    Notification and verification of disease risk.
    Understanding the disease and culling resources.
    Identifying the scope of the risk.
    Determining employer response.
    Handling internal and HR compliance matters."

Read more here.

Stay Informed

IMA has a free series called IMA Plugged-In.  The topics were developed prior to COVID-19.  Register here.

AAM Free Webinars

Connecting to Collections Care Webinar Archive

Cuseum.com has some free webinars. See more here: cuseum.com/webinars

Museum Computer Network Virtual Resources, E-Learning and Online Collections


Survey Results

IMA will take snapshot surveys over the next few months to assess the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Iowa's museums over time.  The survey taken May 18-22, 2020 is posted below.

The next survey will be taken around August 1, 2020.


May 22 Survey Results_1
(Adobe PDF File)

Products You May be Seeking

The Iowa Museum Association has no relationship with these businesses and only provides these as suggested sources for products potentially needed as museums reopen:

McMaster Carr - hand sanitizer

Global Industrial - masks and face shields

Regal Plastics - customized sneeze guards - call 319-232-8757

Edwards Creative Acrylic Barriers - fully customizable.

Covering payroll and costs during shut down

The link to the SBA loan form is in yellow here.

Read about forgivable loans available to non-profits through the CARES Act.

Communicate with your Board and donors about operational needs - share stories of impact.

Letters and fund drives already planned - change the focus.  Shine a light on the need for operational support.

Communicate with your community through social media, virtual tours, remote meetings

Plan Fundraising

While donors are currently focused, as they should be, on giving to alleviate medical and other human needs, there will come a time when the immediate needs are met and donors may be ready to direct gifts to nonprofits that need resources to reboot personnel and programs.


How will you give donors the opportunity to support your organization?  How will you frame your message?

Caring for the Collection


Disinfecting artifacts: The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training is sharing great information on disinfecting and sanitizing at historic sites, including tips for cleaning solutions and different surfaces. 


FAIC - Collections Care Amid COVID-19.

Security is extra important while the museum is shut down.  Make sure security cameras are in place, alarms turned on, and designated individuals are checking the premises regularly.

Monitor for water damage - broken or leaky pipes, windows, ground penetration - that could damage collections.

Pests proliferate when humans are not around.  Set traps and monitor carefully.

International Foundation for Cultural Property Protection: Sound Advice for Basic Security During Current Closures